A Liberian lawyer and rights advocate, Attorney Kukuyon Wleh Teh, says locking down the country is not enough to defeat the deadly coronavirus pandemic here.
President George Weah on April 8, declared a state of emergency locking down the country for 21 days to enable his government take appropriate measures to curb the spread of the virus among the population.
Members of the Legislators in a joint resolution on Friday April 17, did not only approved the President’s state of emergency along with a stimulus package but extended the time frame to 60 days.But Atty. Teh told the New Dawn over the weekend that the lockdown put in place by the government is not sufficient to curb the virus.
“As the lockdown is underway, we must begin effective screening of the population, identifying sick people, isolating sick people, and treating them.” Atty. Teh said stressing that these measures must begin now.
“We must also improve and intensify our information dissemination strategy. Unfortunately, two weeks running the cases are increasing exponentially,” he bemoaned.
Atty. Teh opines that it is important that the government takes time into consideration during the lockdown saying “when are we procuring the testing kits, and the PPEs (gloves, masks…), the medical equipment, etc. The timing matters because these things are in demand globally. It takes really, really good time to get.”
He frowns on the government’s continuous reactive responses saying it is just wrong for government to continue to be reactive rather than being proactive.
“We can’t keep reacting to crisis. We must be proactive. Let’s take cue from the US where the wave of protest grows,” he said warning that “If we do not fully utilize this so-called lockdown period while our people are still moderate, any extension is likely to be chaotic.”
He expressed further fear that if the lockdown isn’t showing results, people will not continue to stay home, saying “No amount of STIMULUS PACKAGE will do. Because we are missing a lot under lockdown than rice.”
Atty. Teh concluded by saying he is not an expert but he has impeccable common sense credential to speak to these issues that have the propensity to undermine the government’s intent if not implemented well.Atty. Teh